Listen: Grandma Sparrow – “This Is My Wheelhouse” + Ask Grandma
“This Is My Wheelhouse” is the second peek we offer you into the world of Piddletractor. The listener’s introduction to the character of Tristan Wimbley, Grandma Sparrow’s “Wheelhouse” was premiered on Relix Magazine and stars nearly every instrument group of the Spacebomb family. Relix calls Grandma Sparrow & his Piddletractor Orchestra, which is out May 20th, “an amalgam of audio collage, improvisation, atonal sounds and enchanting melodies with an amateur youth choir drawn in for good measure.” Read more.
Once you’ve listened, we’re sure you might have a question or two for Grandma. Today, he introduces the first installment in his “Ask Grandma Sparrow” video series. Watch episode one below and ask Grandma whatever’s on your mind via Twitter (@piddletractor) or email (email@example.com).
Listen: Grandma Sparrow – “The Farewell Bolero”
Grandma Sparrow & his Piddletractor Orchestra will be released on May 20th, and today we’re excited to bring you the album’s closer, “The Farewell Bolero.” Wondering Sound premiered the track, calling it “beautiful” and “delirious” with “the strange, multi-layered harmonies of the Beatles circa Magical Mystery Tour, the symphonic sweep of Van Dyke Parks, the oddball instrumentation of Brian Wilson at his most wigged-out.” Read the entire review.
Spacebomb Studios Opens its Doors
Spacebomb is proud to announce the opening of the new Spacebomb Studios, located at 11 S. 21st Street in the Shockoe Bottom neighborhood of Richmond, Virginia. At that address, Spacebomb East will be the hub for Spacebomb’s record label, music production, and music publishing projects, while the attic workshop at Spacebomb West in Richmond’s Near West End will continue being used for certain recording sessions and label operations.
Formerly Songwire Studios, Spacebomb has recorded numerous horn, string, and vocal sessions for its records in the studio, including founder Matthew E. White‘s most recent EP Outer Face, Howard Ivans’ hit 7” Red Face Boy, and Grandma Sparrow‘s forthcoming debut Grandma Sparrow & his Piddletractor Orchestra (due out May 20th). White’s full-length follow-up to Outer Face will be recorded exclusively at Spacebomb Studios for a release on Domino Records.
Spacebomb East is also very excited to open its studio doors to the public for the first time and share the space between its walls with all manner of local, regional, national, and international recording projects. Combining the best of both digital and analog recording techniques and technology, Spacebomb Studios create a unique and singular recording environment that acknowledges the strengths of the past, champions progress and innovation, and allows us and anyone who joins us here a rare and exciting recording experience. Spacebomb continues the great tradition of small Southern record labels and studios—like J&M Recording Studios in New Orleans in the 50s, FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Stax and Hi Records in Memphis, and Sun Studios in Nashville—hoping to carry this small town entrepreneurial spirit that is unique to our region into the 21st century with a place all its own, Spacebomb Studios.
Introducing Grandma Sparrow
Oh hello, hello to reach and one of all my children!
My title is Gr-r-r-andma for all these whoʼs wonder in slumber and still grin!
Follow me to the plunderfull town of Piddletractor, where we will search for my naughty little nephew, Alewishus, the clown prince of Piddletractor!
Thus begins the mythic non-saga of Grandma Sparrow, his nephew, and the various denizens of Piddletractor, USA. Joe Westerlund puts his performance alter-ego through the trademark Spacebomb wringer: strings, horns, and groovy houseband to produce a wild new thing, a psychedelic children’s song-cycle for adults that doesn’t defy description so much as dance around it and pull at its nose. It’s the kind of project that is rarely dreamed up these days, rarer still to be executed with such skill, bravado and glee (complete with an amateur youth choir). And on May 20th, Spacebomb will be proud to release Grandma Sparrow & his Piddletractor Orchestra (SB004) into the world.
Indy Week premiered the album teaser video today, calling the record a “sonic playground…[that] embraces absurdist humor and childlike whimsy, impulsive improvisation and pop collisions.” Watch the album teaser below:
May 1 - Washington, DC @ DC9
May 2 – Brooklyn, NY @ Baby’s All Right
May 16 – Richmond, VA @ Coalition Theater
w/ improv comedy by Pigeon
May 18 – Durham, NC @ The Pinhook (Sunday Brunch)
w/ Alexandra Sauser-Monnig (of Mountain Man)
Grandma Sparrow & his Piddletractor Orchestra (SB004) will be released on May 20th on Spacebomb Records (CD/LP/Digital)
Listen: Matthew E. White – “Ain’t That What Love Is”
It’s Valentine’s Day, so we thought what a perfect time to share this track from Matthew E. White, “Ain’t That What Love Is,” originally released as the B-side of his and Spacebomb’s first release. That 7″ record, “One of These Days,” (SB001) co-released with Hometapes, paved the way for White’s critically acclaimed full-length Big Inner (SB002) and the myriad of live performances around the world that followed. But today, on Valentine’s Day, we only hear him sing the reassurance of unconditional love: “I’ll pick you up when you’re down / Ain’t that what love is?” The love song is now available digitally, so grab it on iTunes or Amazon.